We wouldn't normally count garden centres among our list of potential clients, however on this occasion we are glad we can. We were contacted and interviewed by the team and a date was set.
Chef Ian Boden from Flourish Food Solutions and Tom headed down to Tunbridge Wells in Kent for a 2 day menu shoot. They arrived early on the first day and Tom couldn't believe the set up. What a fantastic venue to shoot in, from the food hall with vintage vans dispensing fresh food to the stunning dining area and welcoming staff. This was not the garden centre he was expecting.
Down to work - an extensive shot list was pondered over and agreed and after a slap up breakfast (who can resists the lure of the full English?) the work commenced. Methodically and systematically, dish after dish came from the extremely well-equipped kitchen manned by a small army of well qualified and enthusiastic chefs.
Each dish was carefully styled and positioned, shot and then sampled. Not only did the food look great but it tasted delicious, something that can sometimes be lacking on a food shoot. Often, it is style over taste, but in this case both attributes were present in equal measure.
Christmas items were despatched, quickly followed by the new menu and a few provenance shots - chefs cooking outside on the BBQ and showing the care that goes into the preparation of the meats and fish.
The second day drew to a close and the shots were done. On reflection back up the motorway, Tom realised how lucky he was to photograph at such a place - a place that cared deeply about the customers and the food it serves, striving to break away from the traditional and offer a new take on an existing theme - eerily reminiscent of the ideals Tom used to set up FullSteamPictures all those years ago.